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LAPA waits on elections

Argentinian carrier LAPA's future may hinge on the result of the country's upcoming presidential elections, with the airline's scheduled flights suspended since late April.

Local airline trade unions have met the incumbent government to discuss the airline's future, but any proposals will rely on the incoming regime. None of the presidential candidates has made clear their standpoint on the carrier's predicament.

The privately-owned airline has been in bankruptcy protection since May 2001, but its financial crisis deepened in April when two of its four Boeing 737-200s were repossessed after payments were missed, and a fifth sub-leased aircraft was returned to American Falcon.

Government and LAPA representatives affiliated to Argentina's five air transport trade unions favour the creation of a corporation linked to state-owned Intercargo. This would allow LAPA to continue operations temporarily with state funds, leading to privatisation later. A similar plan saw LAPA's flight and ground staff transfer to LADE, the state airline run by the Argentinian air force.

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